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Tuesday 22nd Aug 2017

One of the things I like about leagues with a two QB option is how playing with potentially two signal callers, the emphasis on the running back position is reduced.

While I always knew the top point guys in the fantasy football world were the killer quarterbacks--Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and once again Peyton Manning--it always seemed that if you could not land one of those guys on your squad, you were better off loading up with the best running backs you could.

There were a few reasons in my head for this, and probably they are all rhetorical to you, if you do serious research when drafting your grid iron squad.

First, you can only play one QB at a time each week, unless, as I have noted, the rules allow or call for a second, while most teams allow at least three RB's on a roster each week.

Next, though quarterbacks do get hit, they don't crumble or fail to the extent running backs do. Or so it at least seemed.

However, as we enter what is being referred to as "the golden age of Quarterbacks," it appears that at least in 2013, having a QB with legs seriously beats out having a top-flight RB. That is because, for the first time in my memory, there really is no dominant running back in the NFL.

As I perused the Top 20 point producers in all five football leagues in which I play during Sunday's games, there were only three ball carriers among that group: Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy

In fact, even if we look at the Top 30 scorers, the only running back we add is Adrian Peterson (who deserves major cred for playing Sunday under extremely tough circumstances, but, who will also probably fall off the Top 30 with only 62 yards gained).

Among this season's Top 30 thus far in my Utter Genius League, 11 are wide receivers--and that includes Julio Jones, who is now toast for the remainder of 2013--a pair are tight ends, the Chiefs defense lives there with the four RB's, and the balance of 12 are quarterbacks.

In the Utter Genius League, there is a two-QB option, where we can play a second signal caller at one of the flex spots, but, just to make sure I was doing decent research for a Liberal Arts student, I looked at the more traditional North American Internet Fantasy Football League top performers.

Out of that group, just five of the Top 30 were running backs, with six wide receivers (again one being Jones), one tight end, and again the Chiefs defense comprising 13 of the group, while the balance were again quarterbacks.

What that seems to indicate is that if your team is heavy with a strong quarterback, one decent RB and a couple of strong wideouts, you are probably in pretty good shape right now.

In 2012, seven of the Top 30 point producers at the Utter Genius top scorers were running backs, as a means of comparison, with just Randall Cobb making the list as a wide receiver, along with the Chicago Bears defense.

The remaining 21 players on the final 2012 Top 30 were all quarterbacks, so maybe it has always been that QBs have been the top point producers, but since most leagues only allow the playing of one QB at a time, it means that there is an emphasis on generating points at other slots, milking running back and wide receiver slots to stay competitive. 

Now, there are still a balance of ten games left this season, and I certainly expect a cluster of running backs to hit the 1,000 yard milestone and maybe bag a dozen scores, but indeed with the advent of so many signal callers who have both an arm and some wheels, we may be witnessing a major shift in how teams draft, and are subsequently built over the next few years of the NFL, and by virtue of relationship, in our fantasy leagues.

A case in point is that when we are almost halfway into the season, and Geno Smith has actually scored more points than Peterson, for example, it does suggest there might be a shift going on.

I know that when Todd and I drafted at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association fete last June, we did not select a quarterback until the sixth round (Matt Ryan), going heavy with running backs (Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice and Stevan Ridley were our first three picks), and we just replaced Joe Flacco with Tampa's Mike Glennon

We are strong enough with Vernon Davis at tight end, and Jordy Nelson, Emmanuel Sanders and Sidney Rice as receivers, so I am thinking despite not having Russell Wilson, or Robert Griffin III, or Cam Newton, we will likely still be there at the end of the season.

Well, I am hoping.

Same with my other four leagues.

 

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